In a large saucepan, bring the milk, sugar, and vanilla to a boil. Add the rice. Stir, and boil for one minute.
Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and creamy.
Pour the rice pudding into a bowl and stir until cooled to room temperature. PRO TIP: Speed the cooling process by putting the bowl over an ice bath. Even setting it over a bag of frozen vegetables will help speed things along.
For the Raisins and to Finish
While the rice pudding is cooking, zest an orange, if desired, and set aside to garnish. Heat the raisins, Grand Marnier or juice, cinnamon, and enough water to cover the raisins in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat. Steep for about 15 minutes. Drain.
Whip the crème fraîche or sour cream to fluffy, soft peaks. Gently fold into the rice pudding, along with 3/4 of the raisins. Chill until cool.
Spoon the rice pudding into serving bowls. Top with a few more raisins and, if desired, a small sprinkle of cinnamon and some orange zest.This rice pudding will keep, refrigerated, for up to two days. Rice pudding tastes best very cool, but not cold.
A recipe from Unpeeled. Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.